Latest Stories

Ukraine boxer Klitschko hints at presidential run


Lawmaker and chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar (Punch), WBC Heavyweight Champion boxer Vitali Klitschko, center, attends a rally in front of parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, in this Tuesday, April 2, 2013 file photo. Klitschko plans to run for his country’s presidency in 2015 the WBC said on its web-site Wednesday Aug 14 2013. AP/Sergei Chuzavkov

LVIV – Ukrainian world boxing champion and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko strongly hinted on Tuesday that he will challenge President Viktor Yanukovych in elections due in March 2015.

Klitschko told a gathering of Ukrainian diaspora representatives from more than 30 countries that the ex-Soviet republic’s opposition most rally around a single presidential candidate soon.

“I am fully and responsibly considering whether to contest the Ukrainian presidential elections,” Klitschko said on a visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

“The final decision will be taken after I hold consultations with (Ukrainian) society as a whole,” Klitschko told a crowd of about 300.

“I am convinced that there should be a single candidate from the opposition.”

The imposing heavyweight boxer has increasingly mixed boxing with politics and turned into one of the most serious opponents for Yanukovych, a Russian speaker who was criticized for pro-Moscow policies when he became president in 2010.

Yanukovych and his Regions Party have riled the nationalist and pro-Western opposition by bringing charges against ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko that in 2011 saw the one time pro-democracy leader jailed for seven years.

Klitschko entered politics as a Tymoshenko ally whose campaign in 2012 parliamentary elections focused on an anti-corruption drive that played well enough with voters to win his UDAR (Punch) party a respectable third place.

The 42-year-old boxer— who last week was forced to withdraw from his mandatory WBC title defence against Canada’s Bermane Stiverne because of a hand injury- said he now intends to travel the country and meet prospective voters.

“Our goal is a modern, democratic and prosperous Ukraine,” he said.

Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna party had earlier said it intended to nominate the fiery 2004 Orange Revolution co-leader for president despite her jailing.

Ukraine has three main opposition groups that besides UDAR and second-place Batkivshchyna also include the strongly nationalist Svoboda group — now the fourth-largest party in parliament.

The three parties have so far agreed to work closely together during the election campaign but have yet to say whether they will nominate a single candidate.

Yanukovych’s Region’s Party still dominates parliament and has enough seats to outvote the opposition on most issues.

But Ukraine has been recently hit by an economic slump that saw industrial production slow and the government launch a vigorous defence of the country’s flagging currency.

Fears of an imminent devaluation and continued frustration with perceived corruption in politics have helped the opposition gain the seeming upper hand in recent opinion polls.

A June study conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology showed Klitschko edging ahead of Yanukovych among potential voters for the first time.

Klitschko was shown to have the support of 16 percent of potential voters against 14 percent for the president.

Nearly half of the respondents said they currently had no preference or were against all the potential candidates named by the pollster.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Boxing , Politics , Sports , Ukraine , Vitali Klitschko

  • Mary


  • CmdrAdobo

    Klitschko is not ur ordinary boxer. He holds PhD degree. He is also very good chess player. So he got brain potential.

    • sanjuan683

      Bakit komo ba degree holder ay magaling na. Kung yan ang batayan mo dapat maunlad na ang Pinas puro degree holder yan nakaupo sa gobierno hanggang ngayon wala pa ring kaunlaran ang Pinas. Hindi ako naniniwala diyan

      • CmdrAdobo

        My point is dont judge him as a boxer and I was just stating his potential. He’s intelligent and have experience and politics.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Dumb donkey Ukrainians will vote for him. Ukrainian macho symbol

  • William Cervantes

    Siguro dami ding gung-gung at uguk sa mga Ukrainian para magisip ng ganito ang kanilang pambansang kamao.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • 12 dead, 96 injured in Holy Week accidents–NDRRMC
  • Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
  • Rains, thunderstorms on Good Friday
  • Carbon monoxide leak suffocates 20 in Catbalogan City
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Marketplace